Damn Yankees was an experiment, but it turned out to be a damned good one!
Written by: gdmonline
ARTIST: Damn Yankees
ALBUM: Damn Yankees
LABEL: Warner Bros
SERIAL: W2 26159
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
LINEUP: Jack Blades – vocals, bass * Tommy Shaw – vocals, guitars * Ted Nugent – vocals, guitars * Michael Cartellone – drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 Coming Of Age * 02 Bad Reputation * 03 Runaway * 04 High Enough * 05 Damn Yankees * 06 Come Again * 07 Mystified * 08 Rock City * 09 Tell Me How You Want It * 10 Piledriver
Damn Yankees was an experiment, but it turned out to be a damned good one! By the time 1989 turned up on the clock, most of the members above (excluding Cartellone), had reached a hiatus with their other bands. Night Ranger had run out of puff, Styx, well who knows whatever goes on in that camp?
Anyway, Tommy Shaw had a solo career at that point, his ‘Ambition’ album a ‘must-have’ within the AOR genre. Ted Nugent on the other hand was still releasing solo albums but his drawcard capability was becoming scarce, just like the prey he hunts throughout the Michigan hinterland perhaps?
The union of these exceptional musicians, plus the talented but unknown Michael Cartellone resulted in the fantastic debut Damn Yankees album. Released at the beginning of 1990, it would go on to become a successful record during that year, going double-platinum alone in the USA.
The album spawned the hits ‘High Enough’, and the extremely popular opener ‘Coming Of Age’. Coupled with the infectious sounds of ‘Runaway’, a song which sounds as if it was originally penned from his ‘Ambition’ album, plus the blistering duo of ‘Bad Reputation’ and title track ‘Damn Yankees’, the album already has many songs headed for the repeat-play button.
However, for me the highlight is the epic sounding ‘Come Again’, a southern-sounding ballad in the great tradition of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Blackfoot etc. The fiery solos from both Shaw and Nugent sending this track into instant ‘rock-classic’. The bluesy swagger of ‘Mystified’ is an entertaining offset, but it’s no match for the Danger Danger like party-anthem of ‘Rock City’!
As a live attraction, the band bought all their considerable live experience with them and they proved to be a popular draw as a result. The follow up ‘Don’t Tread’ was released in 1992, and though it went platinum, it didn’t contain the same sort of raucous energy of the debut.
The band technically folded in 1993, though did release material for Sony during 2000. The Damn Yankees are far from a spent force, and despite all the members busy working on other projects, there is every likelihood that the band will release a third album some day into the future. Just make sure you invite Ron Nevision along to twiddle the dials!
Coming Of Age